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Thursday, 29 August 2013
But but but (or inside a cancer patient's mind)
I have been feeling remarkably better since my little jaunt to hospital 3 weeks or so ago. Good news, you think. Well, yes, it is good news but the old brain can't leave it alone.
You see outside factors, such as my hair growing back, eyelashes returned and even the eyebrows (although they are grey) and back, help the self-esteem. I don't feel so tired, so sick and so washed out. I have become accepting of the limitations of chemo-brain. I feel OK, not depressed, not angry, not futile but actually like I may still be making a useful contribution as a wife, mum and annoying bristly hornet to idiots in ed world. I am eating like a Trojan (admitting to 11 pm snack of New York Cheesecake from Waitrose WITH double cream), finding it easier to run up and downstairs and am no longer blindsided by fatigue quite so much.
The physical signs are not good. The lump in my shoulder is no smaller but is no longer filled with fluid. This might mean that the cancer is getting bigger or just that the fluid is not in one big pocket anymore or that everything is so inflamed. The mobility of my right arm is pretty limited now and I have to remember to take pain meds every four hours and I need morphine to help me sleep at night. I can feel stuff in the lymph nodes round my neck - it sometimes feels like a necklace of barbed wire after chemo. I take longer to heal from blood tests and injections and knocks and bumps.
So is the chemo working? It seems to have worked on the bits of cancer that had spread outside of the main area at the last scan some 6 weeks or so ago. It doesn't seem to be arresting the main area particularly. At least it's not making it grow like the Docytaxyl seemed to. But the lump is definitely not decreasing and seems to be increasing.
My next scan is in another couple of weeks time, after the next round of chemo next week. I don't want bad news this time. I have had enough of that. I am one of these people who don't peek and prod my Christmas presents or open my cards early on my birthday.
I would rather know than not know.